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A staple in Ethiopia for thousands of years, teff is the world’s tiniest grain – even smaller than poppy seed – but it packs a potent nutritional punch for its diminutive size. Bursting with micronutrients, good fats and fibre – and gluten-free to boot – the ‘new quinoa’ is set to fly off the shelves this summer.

A staple in Ethiopia for thousands of years.

Potential health benefits: like quinoa, teff is relatively high in protein and low in carbs, making it a healthier low GI alternative to refined wheat flour. The grain is rich in calcium and particularly rich in iron. A 2012 study by researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University found that expectant mums who ate bread made from teff during their pregnancy maintained healthier than average iron levels.

Eating tips: use teff in place of wheat flour in cakes, pastries and muffins. The grain is also delicious served polenta-style.